It is late preseason, and if you can’t find a list ranking players for Fantasy Football then you aren’t looking too hard.
Fantasy lists vary from site to site, but PossessionPoints.com likes to look at things a bit differently. Our player lists contain an “expected value” next to the player’s name. This expected value helps Fantasy participants gauge if there really is a difference between the No. 4 and No. 5 players on the list. Of course, this “expected value” is based on one particular scoring system, which we list at the end of this article for your reference. Depending on the Fantasy game you may play, this expected value may vary some, but it still gives you a relative difference between players.
When you look at most lists, look to see if they are they giving you a list for the best player next week or for the remainder of the season? Can you even tell? Fantasy can get complicated, so you have to know what your list is telling you.
Over the last three years, we have found that many Fantasy players have the most fun when they can actively manage their team. To accommodate this management need, we provide three lists for each player position: an Expected Value for Next Week, an Expected Value for the Next Four Weeks, and an Expected Value for the Remainder of the Season. We give you a sneak peak at these lists later in this article.
If you are someone who wants to set your roster and only make changes when injury or something like that forces you to, then look at the Remainder of the Season charts. You’ll have your up and down weeks, but in the end, we think the top players on this list will serve you best.
However, if you are like most Fantasy players, you will want to know what to expect from your players this week and who on your roster to sit or play. For this type of game involvement, you need the Expected Value for Next Week chart.
Four weeks into the NFL season completes a quarter of the season, so even if you only adjust your roster a few times a season, you may want to look at the next quarter of the season to see where your players stand. That’s why we have the Next Four Weeks list.
See for yourself below how the lists can vary by looking at just the top five in each player position.
It would seem that it is hard to go wrong with any of the top five QBs for the season: Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Romo and Rivers. Tony Romo is one that we struggled with as far as any offseason adjustments. He lost a top target, Terrell Owens, but perhaps team chemistry will make the difference here.
If we had him on our fantasy team, we would keep a close eye on how he performs the first few weeks. We expect he will be with the leaders the first week, and the first 4 weeks. However, if he underperforms early, perhaps you might want to see if you can upgrade as there is a pretty good chance he will fall short of being a top five for the full season.
Let’s see: Adrian Peterson, Adrian Peterson and Adrian Peterson. Anybody surprised by that? Of course not, but some of the other players on our lists surprised us a bit.
DeAngelo Williams isn’t on the “Next 4 weeks” chart, mostly because he has a bye in week Four. This shows what every Fantasy player knows, and that is you have to manage carefully for bye weeks. Our full lists also highlight in what week players have byes. It looks to us that Matt Forte, Clinton Portis and Maurice Jones-Drew may have a better first quarter of the season than they will the remainder of the season.
Larry Fitzgerald is tops on our Expected Value for the Remainder of the Season chart, but his bye in week four keeps him off the “Next 4 Weeks” chart. Greg Jennings is fifth on the season chart, and we really think the Rodgers to Jennings combination could be as potent as the Brady to Moss combination.
Calvin Johnson will be a top target for whoever is the starting QB in Detroit. However, the biggest variable with Calvin Johnson will be the Lions themselves. If, as a team, they improve over last year, then he will be a top, if not the top Fantasy receiver this year. For Calvin Johnson to become the top receiver in week one depends on whether or not the Saints have improved on defense. If in your draft you have the choice between Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, nobody would be the least bit surprised by a selection of Fitzgerald.
Similar to the other lists, nobody will be surprised to see Witten, Gates, Clark or Gonzales on the top of these lists. Where the lists get interesting is seeing Shockey at number two for the first week. We guess we he can attribute this to the fact that the Saints open up against the Lions in Week one.
Defense / Special Teams:
Defenses that can generate turnovers and score are featured on these lists. The Ravens, Steelers and Titans all fit that description. We are a little worried that we may not have made enough adjustments to the Eagles’ defense from last season, and that they won’t live up to our expected values. They have a new defensive coordinator and have already lost their starting middle linebacker for the season. However, Asante Samuel appears primed to have a big season in the turnover department. If he can convert a few of his picks into touchdowns, the Eagles should have a top five defense.
Kickers are typically taken in the later rounds of the draft, and with good reason. If you get one of the good ones, there isn’t that much difference over the course of the season. So draft a top kicker, and forget about him, as long as he doesn’t get hurt, he should contribute.
For completeness, the scoring system on which our Expected Values are based is:
Touchdown is 6 points - passing, receiving, rushing or Kick return (a passing TD the QB and receiver get 6pts. Kick return points go to player not DEF/special teams)
Passing: 0.03 points per yard passing, -3 points for an INT
Rushing: 0.1 points per yard
Other: -2 points for a fumble, 2 points for 2 Point conversion.
Kicking: 3 points for FG, +1 if over 39 yards, +0.1 point each yard over 40, 1 point for PAT, -1 point missed PAT or FG under 30 yards
Defense/special team: 6 points TD (not kickoff or punt returns), 2 points safety, 2 points INT, 2 points fumble recovery, 2 points blocked kick (FG, punt, PAT), 1 point QB sack, 12 points if No Points are allowed, -0.5 points for each point allowed.